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Sedation Vacations

Travel Blog of a Travel Nurse

California's Central Coast Breweries

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

If you know me, you know my personal motto of "Catch Flights, Drink Flights", as it perfectly embodies my passion of traveling and trying new beer. Well, I recently had the opportunity to live on California's Central Coast, and ohhh, did I get to try new beer. California's Central Coast, usually known for it's wine scene, also has some delectable beers. I didn't want to make this list to long, so I only included breweries from Solvang up to SLO (San Luis Obispo), which is only a very small section of California's beautiful Central Coast. If you don't feels like reading this whole thing- I suggest Bang the Drum, Oak and Otter, and Kulterhaus for the best beer and experiences.

photo of a woman smiling holding a small glass of beer in each hand.  One beer is red and the other is yellow. Woman has long brown/blond hair and is wearing a grey tshirt.

Libertine Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Sours galore! As well as saisons, barrel-aged stuff, and gosés. Amazing beers all around. Large food menu. Lots of indoor seating and some outdoor seating. Great selection of to-go beers and merch. Also sells coffee and bakery items in the morning! They offer wine as well as mixed drinks, and have brunch every Sunday. Large selection of guest taps as well. Right in downtown SLO.

Cons: Limited selection of IPAs and other beers that aren't "sours". Downtown street parking.

Note: You can find Libertine brewery in Morro Bay and Avila beach as well!


Must try: Pacific Ocean Blue Gosé- brewed with Morro Bay salt water

Instagram: @libertinebrew

A glass of beer sits on a wine barrel containing a peach ring on the edge. trees are seen in the background. top caption reads, "peach ring blond ale" and bottom caption reads, "Naughty Oak Brewing Company"

Naughty Oak Brewing Company (Orcutt)

Pros: Decent beers, pretty good variety. Indoor and outdoor seating. Rotating food trucks. Trivia nights and such. A few unique beers on tap that rotate. Cool merch. Also have nitro cold brew coffee on tap! Good vibes, great local place to just chill.

Cons: Beers are decent, but not amazing or anything. Small selection.


Must try: Staycation - Mango blond

Instagram: @naughtyoakbrew

cup of beer sits on a metal table. Cars and a palm tree are seen in the background. caption reads "pismo brewing company"

Pismo Brewing Company (Pismo)

Pros: Near the beach and right in downtown Pismo. Decent food menu. Indoor and outdoor seating. Old fashioned root beer on tap.

Cons: Pretty small. Only 6 beers on tap, and they're all average tasting. Street parking.


Must try: Roadside Red Ale

Instagram: @pismobrewing

Glass of beer sitting on a table. It's dark outside, but some other tables are seens as well as lights in the background. caption reads "Manrock Brewing company"


Manrock Brewing Company (Grover Beach)

Pros: Great wood-fired pizza. Really nice outdoor seating area. Large selection of beers on tap, and they're actually pretty good. Family owned and operated.

Cons: Limited selection of non-IPA beers.


Must try: Sea Foam P.O.G - Berliner Weisse

Instagram: @manrockbrewing

Beer menu is seen on the back wall with multiple beer taps underneath. Woman has back turned to camera, she is wearing all black. Caption on the photo reads "Oak and Otter Brewing Co."

Oak and Otter Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Great beer. Really large variety, including lots of IPAs, porters, stouts, ambers, and wheat beers. Very nice indoor and outdoor seating. Pretty good food menu. Great vibes. New beers come out pretty frequently. Without a doubt, one of my favorite breweries in the area.

Cons: Street parking, but I've never had an issue.


Must try: Kölsch and ESB

Instagram: @oakandotterbrewing


Bang the Drum Brewery (SLO)

Pros: Amazing vibes and decent beer. The place is huge, with tons of indoor and outdoor seating. Live music sometimes, as well as trivia and open mic nights. Great menu, with homemade pot pies. They also sell coffee and bakery items that are made on site. In addition to beer, they also serve wine, cider, hot spiked cider, and they have a rotating guest tap as well. Dog friendly, and free Wi-Fi. Definitely one of my top 5 breweries on the central coast.

Cons: Can get VERY crowded, especially on trivia nights. More variety of beers needed, as well as new beers.


Must try: Das Weiss - German Hefeweizen & Honey Pot- Honey blond

Instagram: @bangthedrumbrewery

There Does Not Exist (SLO)

A beer sits on a wooden table in a tall, thin glass. Glass has some sort of odd design on it in black. caption on the photo reads "there does not exist"

Pros: Very good beer. They host cool events sometimes, such as The Make Shift Muse (local vendor market). Rotating food trucks on weekends. Indoor and outdoor seating. Unique glassware.

Cons: Bartenders can be kind of dicks. Their entire Instagram is in black and white so you can't see the color of the beer and that annoys me. (Update- looks like they decided to put some color on their Instagram! Thanks guys.)



Must try: Transit of the Binary Star - Saison

Instagram: @theredoesnotexist

photo of a hand holding up a glass of beer. In the background, tables and chairs are seen covered by tents and awnings.  caption on the photo reads "solvang brewing company"

Solvang Brewing Company (Solvang & Lompoc)

Pros: In downtown Solvang, an adorable Danish city. Large food menu (and actually tastes good). Lots of indoor and outdoor seating. Good vibes, and a variety of events throughout the year. Beer menu includes IPAs, Browns, Pales, Stouts, etc.

Cons: Beer is kind of lacking, in both taste and variety. Can get crowded.


Must try: Raspberry Wheat

Instagram: @solvangbrewingcompany

photo of a hand holding a glass of beer. A bar is seen in the background with brick walls and a TV playing. caption on the photo reads "barrelhouse SLO - taproom"

BarrelHouse Brewing-Taproom and Speakeasy (SLO)

Pros: Great beer. Cool little taproom, hidden away down a side street. Indoor and outdoor seating. Right in downtown SLO. Large selection of beers to choice from. TVs usually with some sporting event on it or live music. They also have different table games available to play while you're drinking. Lots of cool merch. Side note: BarrelHouse has a few taprooms around California, and this is not their main brewery.

Cons: No food. Can get crowded. Street parking in downtown. Limited outdoor seating.


Must try: Strawberry Daze - Fruited Blonde Ale

Instagram: @bhbcslo

close up of a beer glass. Beer glass has a design on it in white of a boat and the words "humdinger brewing". some people seen sitting at a bar in the background. Caption on photo reads "humdinger brewing"

Humdinger Brewing (Arroyo Grande)

Pros: Decent beer. Good selection. Indoor and outdoor seating. Pretty decent food menu, with some unique bites. Very clean. Right in downtown Arroyo Grande. Gorgeous murals on the walls here.

Cons: Street parking. Could use more variety of beers.


Must try: Humdinger Loatus - American Lager

Instragram: @humdingerbrewing


close up of a large mug of beer. Beer mug reads, "Slo Brew" at the top and "stein slammer oktoberfest" underneath.  caption of the photo reads "slo brew rock"

SLO Brew Rock (SLO)

Pros: Really cool spot, good vibes. Decent beer. Good food with large menu. Outdoor games. Live music often, including a concert-type venue on the property. Huge variety of beer on menu, as well as to-go. Hosts lots of different events, such as a huge Okterberfest, as well as events such as The Make Shift Muse (local vendor market). Lots of mixed drinks and seltzers. Family-friendly.

Cons: Can get crowded and I'm not a huge fan of their beer. Personally, vibes are off for me here, I feel like they're trying too hard? Doesn't have that "cozy local brewery" feel.


Must try: Stein Slammer - German Lager

Instagram: @slobrewrock

Hand holding a glass of beer. Some fermenters are visible in the background.  There's a carpet on the ground, but all the working isn't visible in the photo. Hand has a bracelet on and ring on thumb.  Caption on the photo reads "central coast brewing"

Central Coast Brewing (SLO)

Pros: Good beer, good variety. Really nice outdoor seating, with a back patio shaded by trees. Solid food menu. Lots of games inside to play (arcade style), family friendly. Lots of cool merch. Just opened a new location down on Monterey St- lots of parking, food trucks, huge outdoor space with tons of indoor/outdoor games, and a distillery right next door in the building.

Cons: Limited parking at original location


Must try: Raspberry Sunrise - Imperial Kettle Sour

Instragram: @centralcoastbrewing


Two glasses of beer sit on a table.  A fire is seen in the background. caption reads "liquid gravity brewing company"

Liquid Gravity Brewing Company (SLO)

Pros: Really cool spot, great vibes. Pretty good beers, okay variety. Indoor and outdoor seating. Outdoor seating has fire pits for when it's chilly. Live music frequently, including brass bands every first Friday. Usually some sort of food truck available. Family owned brewery.

Cons: Could use more variety of beers. Can get very crowded during live music shows.


Must try: Goffbrau - Hefeweizen

Instragram: @liquidgravitybrewingco



Kulturhaus (Pismo)

Deep red colored beer in stem glass, with taps in background

Pros: Amazing, really unique beers on tap. Great spot, good vibes, right in downtown Pismo. Food menu, with frequent specials. The chef and brewer are both very passionate about their jobs, which I appreciate. Indoor and outdoor seating.

Cons: Street parking in Pismo, might be difficult to find parking during peak season. Kind of small, but not necessarily a con.


Must try: Wecken - Farmhouse flower (saison with rose, hibiscus, and lavender)

Instagram: @kulturhausbrewingcompany



Apogee Brewing Co (Grover Beach)

Pros: Great local feel. Huge selection of beers on tap, including IPAs, Belgians, Reds, Blondes, Browns, Pales, and, Seltzers, even a Mexican Chocolate Stout with chipotle peppers. Lots of parking. Indoor and outdoor seating. Dog friendly. Games available. Live music on occasion, trivia events. Cool murals. Merch available. Just opened in Jan. of 2022.

Cons: No food. There's seltzers, but no mixed drinks if that's what you're into. Kind of small on the inside, but that's not necessarily a con.


Must try: Space Cadet - Belgaian Blonde (2022 GABF Bronze winner)

Instagram: @apogeebrewingco


Antigua Brewing Co (SLO)

Pros: Large variety of beers, most of which are pretty damn good. Many awards have been won on some of their beers. Large food menu. Right in downtown SLO. Family owned. Solar and Wind powered, with 99% of their beers brewed with locally grown hops. Trivia nights. Indoor and some outdoor seating. Seltzers and mixed drinks available.

Cons: Guacamole is definitely store bought bullshit. Food in general is just okay. Downtown parking. Vibes are just alright, which sucks because they have such a great location. Just opened in Feb. 2022, and the brewmaster Chris told me "I never wore a mask". Do with that info what you will.


Must try: Central Coast Wit

Instagram: @antiguabrewing



Interested in seeing more beer and breweries that I go to? Follow my beer Instagram @suckerforsaisons. I take special interest in all beers that aren't IPAs, such as wheat beers, saisons, sours, gosés, pilsners, hefeweizens, etc. IPAs are great too though!

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1 comentário


dzomcik
dzomcik
23 de dez. de 2021

Great reviews, but some added details would be welcome 🤗.

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